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Old 02-25-2010, 12:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Frontline Causing Digestive Upset?

I posted a few weeks back about my battle with fleas, but now it seems that the battle has turned to the flea medication. When we gave our pets their first dose on January 20th, Rocky got sick shortly after. The next day he was lethargic, vomited a couple of times, had terrible diarrhea and wouldn't eat. I was very alarmed so I took him to the vet. The vet didn't notice anything terrible so we just put him on a bland diet and gave him some pills to help settle his stomach and firm up his stool. He seemed to get better and better every day, and all symptoms were gone in about a week. I had been in the process of switching his food when this all happened so I put him back on his old stuff (Wellness). On February 20th we gave the babies their second dose of Frontline. Within 30 minutes Rocky was lying on the floor and acting unlike himself. He even layed down across our laps on the couch and went to sleep - VERY uncharacteristic - normally he's running around with a ball in his mouth non-stop. The diarrhea came back with avengeance as well. By Monday he was back to acting like his old self and eating fine, but the diarrhea has been TERRIBLE. I did a little bit of research on the flea medications, and only Revolution states on their product that 1% of pets had experienced digestive upset. My vet had never seen a reaction like this. He gave us more pills to use, but they haven't seemed to do a bit of good. They wanted me to bring him back to see the doctor again, but I really see that as a waste of money. I gave him some yogurt last night and this morning his stools did seem a little bit firmer...so I'm going to hold off.

Has anyone else heard of Frontline causing digestive problems? My vet suggested we try using Program on him next month...are there any other options? I've got to get rid of the fleas, but I obviously cannot put him through this every month.
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Lyric - GSD 16 weeks (4/12/11)
Rico - GSD 2/20/00 - 11/21/08 We'll always love you "Mr. Poo"
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd be surprised if it were the Frontline. I had opportunity to call Merial last year for a friend and I talked to one of their vets about the side effects of Frontline. We were on the phone about an hour, running through all of the concerns/complaints that they've received (by vets and owners) in the last several years, as well as the various studies they've done. The vet had answered my questions upfront and obviously had time to kill. We had a great conversation, and she didn't appear to hold anything back.

Let me tell you -- it's amazing some of the stupid things that animal owners have done with Frontline, from putting it on their animals every day for a couple weeks to actually squeezing the medicine down their dogs throats. Pretty much, Frontline is formulated so that it can be used at much much higher doses and on very young puppies with few ill effects. Even when owners feed it to dogs, the dogs get runny stools for a day, and that's about it.

I was mentioning this conversation to my vet and she confirmed what we discussed: that owners can be morons (she's seen some crazy applications without ill effects) and that she thinks Frontline is actually pretty darn safe.

I'm not a big fan of anything synthetic going on or in my dogs. But like I said, we were just cruising through all of their files looking for something particular and found virtually nothing that sounds like what you're describing. Is it possible? Sure.

But is it possible that your dog was exposed to something else? A dead critter in the back yard that he might have eaten, or perhaps a toxin (are the neighbors doing any sort of yardwork or rodent eradication)? Any way that some creep could have tossed something over your fence?

Is it possible that your dog has an immune system issue that is being affected by Frontline? Sure.

But if this were MY dog, I would keep looking, personally. I just have a feeling that there is something else here. It's not that I trust Merial so much. But I wouldn't rest comfortably by simply removing Frontline (which you certainly could do for a month or two, til flea season really gets up and running). I just think it's something else.

JMO.
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i had an issue with Frontline plus giving one of my dogs diarrhea.........i monitored it a few times just to see...........exactly 2 days after applications he would have diarrhea....so, it definitely can cause this.there was absolutely nothing else that would have caused this in my dog at the time except the Frontline plus.........So, i switched to the Frontline topspot less toxic and there was never another problem...So, your suspicions are legit.......
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just my 2 cents, but frontline has NEVER worled for me.
I have heard it is the SAFEST thing you can use on your pet. I have gotten it all over me and Im ok.
It IS possible that your dog can get sick from it though.
Kilo got SO SO SICK on Vectra 3d. He was shaking & panting and it burnt his skin.
But I know oher dogs who used it with no ill effects.
Maybe try something else....Im sorry about your dogs.
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Diatomateous earth is worth checking into. I don't like the spot on treatments. Your pup may have a sensitivity to the frontline. Did you have any vaccinations done recently?
I am lucky we don't have a flea problem, but tick season will be upon us soon. Last season, I used a home-made essential oil spray(vinegar based).
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
Diatomateous earth is worth checking into. I don't like the spot on treatments. Your pup may have a sensitivity to the frontline. Did you have any vaccinations done recently?
I am lucky we don't have a flea problem, but tick season will be upon us soon. Last season, I used a home-made essential oil spray(vinegar based).
I have also read to spread out the shots & frontline & heartguard.
Its like an overdose of medications at one time......
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm not surprised at all about the frontline. It can affect the nervous system, and by extension, thus the digestive system.
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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none of this stuff is a great thing to put on your dog..........and true about not over loading them with to much at a time.........if people are doing first of the month flea/tick applications and the heartworm meds the same day........it would be no wonder there would be reactions of all sorts..........then top that off with any recent vaccinations and it would be a wonder that there wasn't any ill response..........
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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There was a thread about frontline awhile back and, yes, it can cause a range of reactions in dogs. My dog cried out in pain as soon as it touched her skin and she developed a rash. I believe the thread mentioned that it was being re-evaluated for safety. It's worth looking into. Good luck!
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your replies. We are almost CERTAIN it is the Frontline. The first time we applied it we were not so sure, but now there isn't much doubt. We apply the medicine exactly as it instructs you to, we only do it once a month, etc. There's no way he could have gotten a hold of anything strange in our backyard because we're ALWAYS out there with them. Plus, it would just be too much of a coincidence. He has not had any vaccines recently either, nor has he been given new food, treats, or toys. I've never had this reaction from any of my other dogs that I've used it on, nor the cat. I'm sure Rocky's reaction is very rare, but I'm also sure that he can't possibly be the ONLY dog that ever reacted this way...I just wish they would include this on the packaging as a possible side effect like Revolution does.

On the plus side, he is almost completely back to normal now. His stools began to firm up yesterday and were good this morning. The fleas also seem to be dwindling down. The dogs aren't itching nearly as much as they were, and I haven't seen a flea in a week or so. I'm going to try the Program on Rocky next month and see if he does a little better with that. I've looked into the Diatomateous Earth and would like to use some, but where is the best place to get it?
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Mom to:

Shelby - GSD 6 yrs (2/1/05)
Rocky - GSD 2 YEAR! (10/30/08)
Lyric - GSD 16 weeks (4/12/11)
Rico - GSD 2/20/00 - 11/21/08 We'll always love you "Mr. Poo"
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